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Where to Stay in Naples, Italy: 5 BEST Areas for First Visit (+Map)

Where to Stay in Naples, Italy: 5 BEST Areas for First Visit (+Map)

Traveling to southern Italy, you’ll inevitably want to visit Napoli (Naples), one of the most interesting cities in the country. But deciding on the best area to stay in Naples for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. The city is quite big and doesn’t have the best reputation, so one of the most frequently asked questions we get from our readers is where to stay in Naples.

First, let me reassure you – Naples is absolutely charming and is well worth visiting. It’s a bustling city with so much to see and do, but most importantly, a place where you can experience authentic Italy with all its facets like nowhere else in the country.

So if you have time, we highly recommend spending at least a few days in Naples, in addition to the famous Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Vesuvius Volcano, or Capri (which are all worth a visit of course, but so is Napoli itself!).

If you do some thorough research for the best neighborhoods to stay in Naples, you’ll soon realize that there are basically just a few main areas of Naples that are best suited for first-time visitors. They are situated more or less around the old town. But which one to choose, depends highly on the type of trip that you are planning.

In order not to overwhelm you and to help you make the most of your stay, in this guide, we’ve narrowed it down to just 5 BEST areas to stay in Naples. All these neighborhoods are very central and are located just next to each other, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

We also include a hand-picked selection of some of the best hotels in each area and for every budget. From budget hotels to the most popular mid-range accommodations and luxury 5-star hotels in Naples – this guide features all the best options for any trip and any budget. Find out!

Top Hotels in Naples:

Map of the best neighborhoods to stay in Naples Italy

These are the very best areas to stay in Naples:

1. Central Station


ADVANTAGES of staying close to the stationDISADVANTAGES of this area
* Easy to get to your hotel on arrival/departure by train.* Can be a bit noisy (depending on the street).
* Perfect location for day trips and excursions.* A bit far to walk to some other popular areas in Naples.
* Walking distance to the main sights in the old town.* Some areas might feel unsafe (while not necessarily being so).
* Good metro connections to other parts of town.
* There are lots of lower-budget accommodations (BUT the reviews are often really bad).

Good to know: Napoli Centrale station consists of three levels with different names. So if you hear of a station called Napoli Piazza Garibaldi or Circumvesuviana, it’s basically the exact same place.

The main railway station – Napoli Centrale – is one of the best areas to stay in Naples for first-time visitors, especially if you are planning on using Naples as your base for day trips and excursions nearby.

The station is the main gateway to the city. It’s here that will you arrive by train from Rome (or any other major city). It’s also from here that you will take a train or a bus for the majority of the most popular day trip destinations. Most guided tours and excursions to Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, Hercolano, Sorrento, or Amalfi Coast also start here.

This area is also located just a short walk from the historic old town. For example, Naples Cathedral is just 1 km/15 minutes walk from the station, whereas Naples Underground is about 1.5 km/ 20 minutes walk. One of the most famous pizzerias in Napoli such as L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is also about 15 minutes walk, and there are plenty of other nice restaurants and eateries closer by.

Good to know: If you are visiting Naples for the first time and are planning on spending more time exploring the nearby places than in the city itself, the area around the central station has the most convenient location for your trip.

TIP: If you have safety concerns, stay to the west of the station, more in the direction of the old town. But while we also often heard that Naples is not the safest city, we personally never felt unsafe in Naples.

Here are some of the best-rated hotels in this part of the city:

€€€€ UNAHOTELS Napoli.
€€€ Hotel San Pietro or Hotel Bella Napoli.
€€ H22 Hotels.
Hotel Zara Napoli (one of the best-rated low-budget options; most cheaper hotels in this area have really bad reviews).

READ ALSO: Best Day Trips from Naples (all the must-sees)

Piazza Garibaldi near Central Station in Naples Italy
Piazza Garibaldi near Central Station. The yellow building is UNAHOTELS Napoli. Photo – Lindasky76/

2. Historic Old Town


ADVANTAGES of staying in the old townDISADVANTAGES of this area
* Very central for sightseeing.* Can be very noisy (depending on the street).
* Within walking distance to the station and the port.* Accommodation options are limited.
* Lots of pizzerias and cheap eateries.

The historic old town – Centro Storico – is another good area to stay in Naples. It’s the best neighborhood for those who want to experience the hustle and bustle of Naples and be right in the middle of all the action.

This is the area around the famous Spaccanapoli – a narrow street that ‘splits’ the city of Naples. Here you will find many of the must-see landmarks, such as Naples Duomo, Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo, Santa Chiara Cloisters, Naples Underground, and Sansevero Chapel.

Most other points of interest are located within walking distance from here. You can also walk to the central station in about 15-20 minutes. Naples harbor (where you can take a ferry to Capri Island) is also about 20 minutes walk. The famous Piazza del Plebiscito with the Royal Palace is about half an hour’s walk.

What makes this area really great is that it’s convenient for pretty much everything and has a big array of dining options. Many of the most famous pizzerias of Naples are located here too.

Here are some of the best-rated hotels in this part of the city:

€€€€€ Santa Chiara Boutique Hotel – a modern luxury hotel located in a stunning historic building.
€€€€ Il Tesoro Smart Suite & SPA.
€€€ Palazzo d’Auria ApartHotel – great price/quality/location ratio.
€€ Hotel Europeo Napoli – one of the best-rated lower-budget hotels in the old town.

READ ALSO: How to See the Best of Naples in 1 Day

Napoli historic old town - best neighborhoods to stay in Naples Italy
Naples old town is chaotic, but so charming!

3. City Center: The Area Around Via Toledo & Plebiscito


ADVANTAGES of staying in this areaDISADVANTAGES of this area
* Very central for sightseeing, shopping, and dining.* Too far to walk to the station.
* Good metro connections to other parts of town.* Can be a bit noisy (depending on the street/ hotel).
* Lots of wonderful accommodation choices.* Limited options on the lower-budget.
* Walking distance to the harbor and old town.

The area around Via Toledo and Piazza del Plebiscito is also an excellent place to stay for sightseeing in Naples. This part of the city is great for a longer stay. It’s very central and you can walk pretty much everywhere. It’s perfect for all the main landmarks and attractions, but also for shopping and dining.

Via Toledo is the main shopping street and is partially pedestrianized. To the east is the old town and to the west is the charming Quartieri Spagnoli neighborhood which has tons of restaurants. At the southern end of this long street, you’ll find Galleria Umberto I, San Carlo Theatre, and Piazza del Plebiscito which is home to the Royal Palace of Naples.

The heart of the old town is just 10-15 minutes away and you can easily walk to the nicest waterfront area in about 15-20 minutes as well. However, a lot depends on the exact location of your accommodation as this area is rather spread out.

Staying here also means that you can easily walk to the main passenger port (also with small suitcases – we did it without a problem). Depending on where exactly your hotel is located, it’s just 10-20 minutes walk to the harbor.

The railway station is about 35-45 minutes walk, but you can easily take a metro for bigger distances. There are several metro stations in this part of town.

Here are some of the best-rated hotels in this part of the city:

€€€€€ Relais Della Porta – a unique boutique accommodation.
€€€€ Grand Hotel Oriente or NapoliMia Boutique Hotel – both very central.
€€€ Napolit’amo Hotel Medina – a popular mid-budget choice.
€€ Terrazza Aragon Room and SPA – excellent value for the location.

Best areas to stay in Naples - Galleria Umberto I in the city center
Galleria Umberto I is not to be missed, no matter where you’re staying.

4. Port of Naples


ADVANTAGES of staying in this areaDISADVANTAGES of this area
* Perfect location for day trips to the islands.* A bit far to walk to the station.
* Good metro connections to other parts of town.* Can be a bit noisy (depending on the street).
* Central location for sightseeing.* Some areas are not as charming (depends on the place).

The Port of Naples – Molo Beverello – is the best area to stay in Naples if you are planning on taking several day trips to the nearby islands. Passenger ferries to Capri and Ischia islands depart from here.

It’s also the best choice if you are just stopping in Naples for 1 or 2 nights on your way to Capri. The convenient airport shuttle directly to the Maritime Port makes it really easy to plan it all without any stress.

Castel Nuovo is located just nearby, and so is Naples University. The historic old town is about 20 minutes walk and Piazza del Plebiscito is just 15 minutes. It’s a bit far to walk to the railway station from here, but you can easily take the metro.

Here are some of the best-rated hotels in this part of the city:

€€€€€+ ROMEO Napoli – a luxury hotel with the most amazing views.
€€€€ Palazzo Turchini – very central and not far from the harbor.
€€€ Smart Hotel Napoli – the most popular mid-budget choice right at the harbor.
€+ Hotel Nettuno – technically in the old town, but really close to the harbor. Great value.

Port of Naples (Molo Beverello) - one of the best areas to stay in Naples Italy
Port of Naples (Molo Beverello) and Castel Nuovo.

5. Naples Waterfront


ADVANTAGES of staying in this areaDISADVANTAGES of this area
* Quieter, luxury area.* A bit far to walk to the old town.
* Sea views and breeze.* No metro nearby.
* Walking distance to the biggest park and the beach.* Expensive.
* Walking distance to Piazza del Plebiscito.

Naples Waterfront – Lungomare di Napoli or Lungomare Santa Lucia – is one of the most popular areas to stay in Naples for a longer, more relaxing vacation that is not just focused on sightseeing.

The waterfront is located a bit further away from the busy old town and is more spacious. You literally feel like you have more air here when you come from the narrow streets of the old town. If you are visting the city in the summer, this is the best place to be.

The main landmark here is Castel dell’Ovo, but also Piazza del Plebiscito with the Royal Palace is just 15 minutes walk away. The city park – Villa Comunale and Mappatella Beach are just about 15-20 minutes stroll away.

Some of the nicest and most luxurious hotels in Naples can be found here, lining the waterfront of the Santa Lucia area. There are also quite a few nice restaurants here. If you are looking for something a bit less fancy, you’ll find lots of charming local restaurants in the Chiaia neighborhood just nearby.

Good to know: Most hotels here are the typical European grand-style hotels. If you like historic buildings and are looking for a luxury stay in Naples, this is the place to be! All of the hotels mentioned below offer stunning views as well.

Here are some of the best-rated hotels in this part of the city:

€€€€€ Grand Hotel Vesuvio or Eurostars Hotel Excelsior.
€€€€ Grand Hotel Santa Lucia.
€€€ Hotel Royal Continental – the most popular hotel in this area, with a very nice pool.

Naples waterfront (Lungomare di Napoli) - one of the best places to stay in Naples Italy
Naples waterfront. You can see the Eurostars Hotel Excelsior on the left.

Things to consider when deciding where to stay in Naples

If you are still unsure about where to stay in Naples, here are some things to consider:

  • How much time do you have and where will you arrive and leave from? If you are traveling by train and only stay in Naples for a few days, then the area around the central station is the most convenient. Whereas if you are arriving by plane and staying in Naples for a night or two before taking the ferry to Capri, then you may want to stay by the harbor. For a longer stay focused on sightseeing, we recommend the heart of the city, and for a summer holiday – the luxury hotels at the waterfront.
  • What do you plan to see and do? If you are mostly interested in visiting Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius, and the Amalfi Coast and are using Naples as a base for your vacation, then staying close to the railway station will save you lots of time. But if you are planning on exploring the city to the fullest without having to take public transport all the time, then stay in the old town or in the area around Toledo – Plebiscito. This area is also ok for a ferry to Capri.
  • How do you plan to get around? If you like to walk as much as possible, stay in the center. Whereas if you don’t mind taking a taxi once in a while, then it’s best to stay closer to the water. If you want to use public transportation, check if there is a metro station near your hotel. If you are passing by Naples by car, stay outside the center and make sure that your hotel has parking.
  • Your mobility. While a big part of Naples center is rather flat, some other areas are very hilly. The neighborhoods featured in this guide are all rather flat and easily walkable, but if you book a hotel a bit further outside of these areas, be sure to check where it’s located. For example, the Vomero neighborhood is located really close by but it’s sitting on a high hill, offering beautiful views from Sant’Elmo Castle, but also requiring lots of stairs and/or funicular rides in order to get there.
  • The season when you visit. Naples can get really hot in the summer. The old town has very narrow streets and tall buildings, so it can feel even warmer. Whereas the waterfront has a nice breeze and some hotels (very few) also have a swimming pool. PRO TIP: Be sure to check if your accommodation has air conditioning if visiting in the warmest months!

TIP: Once you decide on the approximate area to stay, you can also use this accommodation map to compare the best hotel and self-catering lodging options in Naples. Simply insert your travel dates, place, and group size, and you’ll see the best deals for your stay.


So, this is our guide to the best areas to stay in Naples. I hope that it gives you a better idea of what to expect and helps you find the perfect accommodation for your stay.

Have a great time in this unique and bustling city!

TIP: Be sure to check our other guides that will help you make the most out of your vacation in this beautiful part of Italy:

READ ALSO: Itinerary for Naples, Capri & Amalfi Coast

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Where to stay in Naples Italy - best areas and hotels for all budgets

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Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Thank you for this guide and for all the other blogs! I used it to plan our trip for next spring and it saved me so much guesswork. We will be in Naples for 3 full days plus afternoon on the arrival day and booked UNAHOTEL next to the station. We will be taking day trips to Pompeii + Vesuvius and Sorrento + Amalfi Coast. With the third day, do you think we should go to Capri or stay in the city? So hard to choose.


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Hi Suzanne, that's not an easy choice indeed, and all these locations are absolutely worth it. Naples has so much to offer, but Capri is amazing too. Depending on how long your tour to Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius is, maybe you can still explore some of the city upon return, plus on the arrival day. Or skip Vesuvius and just go to Pompeii - that will save you half a day to explore Naples. If you can see some of the city on two half days, then maybe consider going to Capri for a full day... On the other hand, if you are traveling in the early spring (you didn't say when exactly), Capri can be quite deserted and if the weather isn't great, maybe you would enjoy the city more... Just a thought - why not book a cancelable day tour to Capri and then see a few days in advance how the weather is, and then decide based on that? If you are visiting in the late spring, then Capri can be absolutely amazing with all the flowers blooming, etc. Hope this helps.

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